GOP lawmaker: AR-15s 'not dangerous' when 'used appropriately'

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) is defending AR-15s in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, saying Wednesday the semi-automatic rifles are not dangerous "when they're used appropriately."

During an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Cole was asked if he would be against banning AR-15s or semi-automatic rifles as a way to help curb American gun violence.

"I would, there's millions of them in circulation. When they're used appropriately, they're not dangerous," he said.

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When MSNBC's Willie Geist pointed out that weapons by definition are dangerous things, Cole retorted: "So are trucks driving into crowds."

Cole said he doesn't see banning any particular firearms as the solution to U.S. gun deaths.

"There's not an easy legislative fix here, and I think people that suggest there is are not very persuasive in that regard," he said. 

Cole was asked during Wednesday's interview whether he was alarmed authorities had recovered more than 40 weapons belonging to the suspected Las Vegas gunman. 

"I have friends with that many weapons. That's not uncommon in my part of the country," Cole said.

He added he's very "fierce" about protecting the Second Amendment.

"Most of the people that own these weapons, I mean like 99.99 percent aren't a threat to anybody," he said.

"You can turn almost anything into a weapon of mass destruction if the evil intent is there to do it."